"I'm thinking I wouldn't exactly be a great candidate," the newly single reality show host says

By Carrie Bell
May 09, 2012 06:50 PM
Jonathan Leibson/Filmmagic

The minute Chris Harrison announced his split from Gwen Jones, his wife of 18 years, the quips about him being the next Bachelor star began.

It turns out the show’s host can see the humor in the speculation – but isn’t ready for that kind of experience.

“I was waiting for that question,” the host said Wednesday during a conference call to promote the new season of The Bachelorette, which premieres Monday.

“Getting out of a 22-year relationship, having just announced my divorce to the world a week ago, having two kids and trying to start a new life, I’m thinking I wouldn’t exactly be a great candidate to be the bachelor right now or anytime soon.”

POLL: Chris Harrison: Should He Be The Next Bachelor?

Harrison is happy that he has a good relationship with his ex and says he cherishes what he and his wife had together.

“I had an amazing 18-year marriage to a incredible woman,” he says. “I don’t have any regrets about the last 22 years of my life, the love and family that I had or the love and friendship that I have now [with Gwen]. I still hold that very dear and cherish it very much.”

And the breakup has not soured Harrison’s belief in marriage or The Bachelor franchise’s quest to create lasting couples.

“I still, and maybe more than ever, believe in the search and what everybody is doing on the show because I’ve been there and I lived that life,” Harrison says. “I’ve loved deeply with [my] whole heart and know how great it can be. I will hopefully fall in love and find that again.”

When he is ready to start looking for love, Harrison will have to deal with the high bar the series has set for dates.

He was jokingly warned that women might expect him to provide the same exotic locales, luxury suites and adrenaline-fueled activities like bungee jumping and diving with sharks seen on the reality show.

“Yep, [they will expect] the helicopter and private jet,” he said with a slight groan. “I haven’t actually had a date in 22 years so we’ll see.”

POLL: Chris Harrison, Wife Gwen Are Splitting